10 Reasons Parents Choose to Homeschool
We have many reasons.
I’ve been fascinated by the reaction to my article, “10 Things Homeschool Moms Wish You Knew.” Never in my wildest dreams did I think people would be offended by that list or think I was using it to judge them. That was not my intention at all. I must say, it always fascinates me to see how different people read and interpret different things in different ways.
One person commented that my list included some of the lamest reasons to homeschool she had ever heard. I had to laugh about that one, because my list had nothing to do with why people would choose to homeschool. However, that comment got me started thinking about the reasons people do choose to homeschool their kids.
Just like there are many, many types of homeschoolers, there are also many, many different reasons we choose to homeschool. We are people, individuals, families, with different motivations and different ideas. Just as parents in a public or private school setting don’t always agree on how to raise their children, neither do homeschoolers. We all have different methods, different theologies and different goals. It’s not fair to lump us all into one stereotype.
I started thinking about reasons parents homeschool, and I came up with a list of ten. This list is certainly not complete, but I think it covers many of the motivations homeschooling parents have.
Here are 10 reasons parents choose to homeschool:
1. For Life
Many homeschoolers have tried putting their kids in school. They found that their lives were ruled by school hours and school activities. By the time their kids got home from school and finished their homework, it was time for them to eat dinner, take a bath and go to bed so they could start all over the next day. The parents felt like they were missing their children’s childhood, since a good portion of it was spend away at school. They decided this was no way to live, so they took control of their children’s education.
2. For Liberty
Many homeschoolers enjoy the freedom of homeschooling. It means they can travel when they want to, they can study when they want to and they can take breaks from studying when they want to. For these families, the freedom of taking a month off during the holidays or doing schoolwork through the whole summer works for them. They like the freedoms that come from not being tied down to a traditional school schedule.
3. For the Pursuit of Happiness
Some homeschoolers tried having their kids in school and just weren’t happy. Therefore, they made a change. They found they enjoyed the freedom of schooling on their own terms, so they kept their kids home. For those families, everyone was happier with the kids not in school.
What Do You Think?
When is it okay for a parent to homeschool a child?
4. For Religious Reasons
Many times, it is assumed that homeschoolers do so because of religion. Sometimes, that’s true, and sometimes, it’s not. There are many homeschool families who want their kids at home so they can educate them according to their beliefs. However, many homeschool families are not religious, and religion had nothing to do with their choice to homeschool.
5. For Developmental Reasons
Some homeschooled kids have developmental delays or differences that would make it difficult for them to flourish in a classroom setting. In these cases, their parents have chosen to keep them home where they can receive one on one teaching. Of course, many homeschooled kids have no delays at all and are performing at the same level, or even above, schooled kids of the same age.
6. For Their Children's Interests
There are some children who are very interested and very talented in certain areas. These areas would include (but are not limited to) dance, gymnastics, martial arts, acting, music and team sports. The parents of these children found that practicing their activities enough to continue advancing was virtually impossible on school days. In these cases, the parents made the choice to pull their kids out of school and to allow them to pursue their dreams and passions. This does not mean the kids are allowed to just practice their activities and never do schoolwork. Instead, it means the parents can arrange the child’s school schedule to fit around the practices and performances.
7. For Their Children's Safety
Some homeschoolers don’t want to send their kids out into the world. They are afraid their children will be hurt either physically, mentally or emotionally. For these parents, keeping their kids home gives them a peace of mind.
8. For Their Family's Well-Being
Some homeschool parents believe their kids will be closer to them and will grow up loving their siblings more than if they went to school. Many homeschooled kids don’t go through the typical, “I don’t want to be seen with you stage,” that many middle and high school kids face. So, many homeschool parents have made the decision to keep their kids close physically, so they will be close emotionally.
9. For the Fun of It.
Many homeschool families enjoy learning together. Quite frankly, they like each other and enjoy spending time together. For many homeschool parents, the thought of having their kids gone all day every day is dreadful, so they keep them home.
10. For Their Children's Best Interests
This is a broad reason, and I’m pretty sure all homeschoolers would claim this reason as one of their own. Homeschoolers keep their kids home because they believe that is what is best for them. They want their kids to succeed, and they want to give them whatever tools necessary to help them succeed. They are just trying to do what is best for their children. They believe no one else has a vested interest in their children like they do, so that alone, makes them more equipped to train their kids.
Am I trying to convince you to homeschool? Absolutely not. Do I believe you should homeschool? No. Well, at least, I don’t know. That would be a choice for you and your children, just like I made a choice for me and mine. Since I don’t know you, I can’t decide what is best for your family. Since you don’t know me, you can’t judge what is best for mine either.
Read More About Homeschooling Here:
- The Out of Context Homeschooler
Homeschoolers are used to having their choices taken out of context and judged. Here are my answers to some of the judgments I've faced lately.